Visiting Chuquicamata

This is the largest open-pit copper mine in the world. Visitors can observe up close how copper is extracted.

Thursday, July 23, 2009  
Chuquicamata Codelco Chuquicamata (Photo: Codelco)

The mining capital of Chile is located 16 kilometers from Calama. It has become the industry’s iconic Chilean mine and an interesting area to tour and get to know up close, as the world’s largest open-pit copper mine.

In the Indian language Chuquicamata means “land of the Chuco Indians.” These were first inhabitants of this area. They mined copper, melted it and later sold it in the great empires, such as Tiwanaku, in Bolivia.

In Chuquicamata, visitors can observe the works for copper extraction from the desert floor. Copper is called “the red gold,” and is Chile’s most important raw material.   (To make reservations, call: (55)-322122, or e-mail